Good Fruit Grower

January 15

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Page 32 of 47 Good Fruit Grower JANUARY 15, 2015 33 Call us FIRST for the largest selection of trees and rootstocks available Future contracts for cherries, pears, & apples; ALL ROOTSTOCKS. NEW APPLE rootstock! 1-800-421-4001 Phone: 503-538-2131 Fax: 503-538-7616 E-mail: Web: INC. Representing Over 30 Leading Nurseries in the U.S. and Europe From the breeders of Bud 9: • Vigor between M-9 T337 and M-9 Pajam®2 • Yield efficiency similar to M-9 T337 • Dwarfing • Cold hardy • Disease resistant • Fireblight tolerant B10 ® cv. Mich 96 USPP 21,223 Services are FREE TO GROWERS! received an AgVision operating loan from Northwest Farm Credit Services. He worked for Northwest Farm Credit for about ten years before leaving the cooperative to farm on his own. He initially used a USDA loan to purchase land. In the process of adding to his orchard holdings, Barajas is also buying an orchard directly from a grower who is carrying the loan. "The Farm Service Agency recommended that I apply for an AgVision loan for my operating loan," Barajas said, adding that he was reaching the maximum loan limits allowed under USDA's program. Barajas has taken advantage of AgVision reimburse- ments for attending education business conferences and plans to upgrade his computer with the technology reimbursement. "The financial workshops I've attended have been really helpful," he said. Barajas grew up in agriculture and spent his younger years helping on the family farm. He credits both the USDA and Northwest Farm Credit loan programs for helping him become an orchardist. Kyle Haugen Kyle Haugen of Othello didn't qualify for begin- ning farmer loans offered through Washington State's Housing and Financing Commission. But loans through USDA and Northwest Farm Credit gave him the money to purchase 140 acres that currently has 100 acres of blueberries and 10 acres of apples planted. "Without Farm Credit and USDA, there's no way I could have bought a farm of this scale," he said. "You have to have a lot of capital and equity built up to get into farming, and those are the two things I didn't have." Haugen, 29, grew up in Lynden, where his father grows raspberries and has a berry processing plant. After college, he wanted to get into farming on his own and found a blueberry farm in Othello for sale. The property has room for another 20 acres of blueberries in the future. He used an AgVision loan from Northwest Farm Credit to purchase the land and was approved for an operating loan through USDA. Through the AgVision program, he was reimbursed for purchase of a new computer and has attended work- shops and conferences designed for beginning farmers. He will soon be able to reduce the interest rate on his AgVision loan by three-quarters of a percent through the RateWise component that gives points for attending financial workshops and business management. Carlos Lopez Carlos Lopez is another young orchardist who got his start through USDA loans. Lopez, 37, owns 190 acres of apples and pears in partnership with his father in Cowiche. He first had an operating loan through USDA, but when he had an opportunity to expand his orchard acreage, he was encouraged to consider Farm Credit's AgVision program for his real estate loan. "AgVision allowed me to expand my orchard," he said, adding that he became an orchard owner in 2005. He began forming a partnership and consolidating farming equipment and practices with his father in 2009. Lopez has used AgVision's reimbursement compo- nent to attend business management workshops and learn accounting practices and purchase accounting software for his orchard. • "You have to have a lot of capital and equity built up to get into farming, and those are the two things I didn't have." —Kyle Haugen

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